JOE GALLAGHER: SMITH RECKONS WILLIAMS IN FOR SHOCK

GALLAGHER: “LIAM WILLIAMS HAS ALWAYS BEEN TWO YEARS BEHIND BEEFY”


Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge

In the fight game, there’s an old adage that you can’t buy, steal, beg or borrow experience and Manchester trainer Joe Gallagher believes that Liam Smith’s superior seasoning will be the crux to Team Beefy emerging victorious when the ex WBO champ goes to battle against unbeaten Welsh warlord Liam Williams, the unbeaten British champion, in the unmissable super-welter shoot out at Manchester Arena on April 8th.

Scouser Smith is four years older, boasts eight more pro fights (four at world title level), 60 more pro rounds and has been fighting for pay for 37 months longer. Speaking to Glynn Evans, former Ring magazine Coach of the Year Gallagher stated:

‘The way Liam Smith sees it, Williams’ team turned the fight down a couple of years back saying he wasn’t ready then, and ‘Beefy’ thinks he’s not ready now. No doubt Williams wanted the fight back then but his team didn’t believe in him. Why not? The seed of doubt will have been sown.

Liam Williams has always been two years behind ‘Beefy’, a prospect while ‘Beefy’ was making British title defences and carving his name on the international scene. Williams has since grown into the role of champion himself after picking up the British and Commonwealth titles that my Liam discarded. He’s a solid operator with a good jab, good balance, good timing and good shot selection. I know his trainer Gary Lockett studies Liam Smith a lot and will devise a decent game plan. Team Williams has been growing in confidence of late.

Yes, he’s very strong, a good body puncher and he carries a heavy right hand. But he’s got longstanding hand problems and he’s going to have to throw hard and often if he’s to stand any chance of upsetting Liam Smith.

I’m sure that Team Williams feel they’ve now got the momentum here, that the timing is right for them. That’s great but ‘Beefy’ was on a similar run before the ‘Canelo’ fight and it’s not as if he lost to a Latvian!’

Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times on a show headlined by Terry Flanagan defending his WBO World Lightweight Title against tough Petr Petrov; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.

Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.

MCDONNELL SURE OF VICTORY ON WORLD STAGE

Doncaster man aiming to top World in Hull against Vargas

Photo: Lawrence Lustig / Matchroom
Gavin McDonnell has vowed to seize his moment of history as he takes on Rey Vargas for the WBC World Super-Bantamweight title at the Hull Ice Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

McDonnell has fond memories of the venue he faces his destiny on Saturday as three years ago today McDonnell stopped Leigh Wood there to land the British title – the first step on his remarkable journey to Saturday nights World title shot.

The Doncaster ace can create British boxing history by joining his twin brother Jamie as a World ruler, and the 30 year old wants to repay all his supporters and team for their faith.

“It is real now,” said McDonnell. “It seems to have taken forever to come but all of a sudden it is here. It is a nice feeling that after all the hard work we have put in, now is show time.

“I have put a lot of years hard work in, made a lot of sacrifices – and not just me, my family have all gone through it just for me. Everything has been put on hold for me to go out there and achieve my dream. We have trained so hard and it is here now, it is the dream and I plan on grabbing it with both hands and moving on and going from where I am to the very top.

“The fight is here because Eddie and Matchroom have backed me for this fight. I do want to go abroad and fight but for my first World title, and such a tough fight, we wanted it here. My team has backed me more than his has backed him so they can say what they want – they can say it is cowardly or whatever they want.

“We know if we went over there we would have to knock them out so we want it in my favour over here and Eddie and Matchroom have given me the platform to go out there and achieve my dream. It isn’t cowardly – my team have backed me, they have supported me and they have given me this opportunity to win this World title.

“It means everything, this is what we all want and when you are World champion you are on the scene then, the big fights will be there. You will be one of the World champions, a wanted man. It means everything; the bigger fights, the bigger pay, it is why we are in the business. I intend to do everything required to win and I have no doubt I will win.”

Vargas’ clash with McDonnell is part of a big night of action in Hull as hometown star Luke Campbell MBE defends his WBC Silver Lightweight title against Mexican Jairo Lopez.

Campbell’s fellow Hull favourite and old foe Tommy Coyle returns to action following his epic British title encounter with Tyrone Nurse, taking on unbeaten Londoner Rakeem Noble.

Unbeaten Belfast talent Ryan Burnett tastes his first action of 2017, Doncaster Heavyweight Dave Allen kicks off 2017 having taken on Luis Ortiz in his last outing and Scunthorpe’s unbeaten Light-Heavyweight prospect Dec Spelman looks to add to his 10-0 record and local boys Carl Chadwick and Conor Seymour feature.
Limited tickets remain on sale for February 25 priced at £40, £60 and £100 at www.stubhub.co.uk

 

WHO IS PETR PETROV? UNVEILING TURBO’S CHALLENGER

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ‘EL ZAR’

Photo: Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine 

Glynn Evans surfs the net to extract titbits on the seriously chiselled Russian who has designs on toppling our WBO lightweight king at Manchester Arena on April 8th.

  • Petrov was born in Ryazan, an oil refining city and electronics hub, 120 miles south-east of Moscow in March 1983.
  • He will be 34 this year. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the area was terrorised by the infamous OPG mafia gang and blighted by racketeering and contract killings.
  • At the age of 12, the Petrov family moved to Madrid, Spain for commercial reasons. Petr is fluent in Russian and Spanish and speaks some English.
  • After nominal amateur experience, Petr turned professional in November 2000. He was just 17 at the time. His initial 19 gigs took place on Spanish territories (one in Tenerife).
  • A 5ft 6in orthodox fighter with a 70in reach (southpaw Flanagan is three and a half inches taller), Petrov is nicknamed ‘El Zar’ (The Tsar).
  • In his ninth outing, aged 20, Petrov conceded his unbeaten tag, suffering a six round split decision to Columbia’s Ubadel Soto in Madrid.
  • However, over the ensuing 13 ½ years, he has lost just three times, all to world champions, each time in the opponent’s yard.

In October 2007, Germany’s future WBC super-feather boss Vitali Tajbert unanimously outpointed Petrov over eight in Halle. In September 2011, monster hitting Argie Marcos Maidana put him out for the full count in a WBA title challenge up at light-welter, in Buenos Aires. Nineteen months later, over in Montenegro, local hero Dejan Zlaticanin (the future WBC lightweight king) outpointed him on all cards over 12.

  • Post Zlaticanin, Petrov has been aligned with Artie Pellulo’s Philadelphia-based Banner Promotions.
  • He resides in southern California with his wife Carolina and is trained and managed by Danny Zamora in Santa Fe Springs. Jerry Arias helps out with strength and conditioning duties while Petr’s brother coaches him whenever he is back in Spain.
  • His last six gigs (all wins, four early) have all taken place on US soil against opposition with combined stats of 135 wins, 24 losses, five draws.
  • In May 2014, the Russian native captured the ESPN Friday Night Fights prestigious Boxcino lightweight title. Additionally, he has hovered up WBO and WBA regional titles plus the NABF crown at 135lbs.
  • Having outpointed Mexico’s former WBC Super-Feather boss Gamaliel Diaz over 10 the previous April, Petrov was scheduled to box in the UK in October 2015. However, his WBO eliminator with Cromer’s Liam Walsh was pulled after the unbeaten Norfolk switch hitter withdrew with a hand injury.
  • Potent Petr secured his shot at the ‘Turbo’ by forcing Golden Boy’s highly touted Michael Perez (just one loss in 27) to retire on his stool after six rounds of an eliminator in Indio, California last September. The Robert Garcia trained starlet from New Jersey was dumped and sliced in round two prior to raising the white flag.
  • Mandatory contender with both the WBA and WBO, the Russian hard case presently sports a 38-4-2 slate with exactly half of his victims failing to pass the finish post.

Terry Flanagan vs. Petr Petrov tops an unmissable evening of action at the Manchester Arena on April 8; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; Slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.

Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.

BUGLIONI SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM; ON HAYE vs BELLEW BILL

‘Wise Guy’ defends British title against Summers on Haye-Bellew bill


Frank Buglioni has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and will defend his British Light-Heavyweight title against Ricky Summers at The O2 in London on March 4, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Buglioni ripped the crown from Hosea Burton in an epic clash in Manchester in December, stopping the local favourite in the last round of a gruelling fight of the year contender.

The former Super-Middleweight World title challenger makes the first defence of his crown against the unbeaten Tipton man Summers, and for ‘Wise Guy’ his aims are clear as he prepares for his first fight with new promoter Eddie Hearn: claim the coveted Lord Lonsdale belt outright before targeting World honours again.

“I wanted to get the British title and prove to myself and the fans that I was championship material and could put on a performance,” said Buglioni. “I was very impressed with the whole set up for the Burton fight with Sky Sports, the build-up was great and as soon as the offer came from Eddie I jumped at it as Matchroom and Sky Sports are putting on great shows all year round, this is the platform to be on.

“I’ve worked hard to get the British title and I want to win it outright, I don’t think that it’s been done for over 25 years in my division, so I really want to achieve that. I’m looking to get this one out of the way and look for two more defences to make that happen.

“There’s no such thing as an easy British title defence as anyone that fights for the title is going to give it everything they’ve got. It’s one of the best belts out there and it means so much to win it – Hosea and I proved back in December just how much fighters give in order to land it. The immediate aim is to get the LL belt for keeps but of course, if European or World title shots present themselves, that’s something the team will consider and look at the options.

“I’m thrilled to be on the card, the main event is one that I’m really looking forward to. I rate Tony Bellew a lot, he’s improved massively throughout his career, he was told he wasn’t British, European or World level and he’s proved all the doubters wrong. David’s got the experience and he’s a massive puncher, so it’s going to be explosive.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Frank to the team in an exciting time for the British and World Light-Heavyweight division,” said Hearn. “Frank is one of the most popular fighters in London and has a real TV and fan friendly style that we of course saw in the Hosea Burton fight in December in Manchester.

“I’m very happy to have him in the stable and part of a huge show at The O2 next week and look forward to being involved in big fights and nights with him moving forward.”

Burton and Summers meet on a huge night at The O2 as David Haye and Tony Bellew meet in a blockbusting Heavyweight grudge match.

There’s more London vs. Liverpool rivalry on the menu as Hackney’s Ohara Davies defends his WBC Silver Super-Lightweight title against Merseyside favourite Derry Mathews.

Stourbridge banger Sam Eggington faces the biggest night of his career against former two-weight World champion Paulie Malignaggi, while Irish amateur star Katie Taylor boxes for the third time in the pros.

Tickets for Haye vs. Bellew sold out in record-breaking time when they went on sale in December.

‘TRIPLE D’ LOOKING TO MAKE BIG IMPRESSION ON HEAVYWEIGHT SCENE

DUBOIS: ‘I LOVE BASHING PEOPLE UP!’

Expect the pending arrival of teenage terror Daniel Dubois to invoke some involuntary bowel movements among the continent’s heavyweight pretenders.

A five time national junior titlist and reigning British amateur champ, the 6ft 5in, 17 ½ stone south Londoner is rumoured to have given Anthony Joshua headaches – both figuratively and literally – in the gymnasium and is primed to leave a trial of prostrate bodies as he blazes through the sport’s showcase division over the next couple of seasons.

Ahead of his eagerly awaited bow at Manchester Arena on April 8th, the humble, jovial 19 year old spoke with Glynn Evans about his life, career and ambitions.

The internet and social media are awash with tattle about your spars with IBF Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. What’s the lowdown?!

I was only eighteen when I sparred AJ but I enjoyed some successes up in Sheffield. Given he’d been Olympic champion, that gave me a bit more confidence.

That said, he’s the best I’ve shared a ring with. I’ve sparred ‘Josh’ before most of his recent fights. He’s just a massive man, very strong, so I really needed my wits about me. He’s got a very solid jab, good defence and you certainly wouldn’t want to catch a clean right hand off him. In my view, he’s definitely the best in Britain, number one in the world!

Who else have you worked with in the gym?

When I was only 17, I sparred Dereck Chisora who’s very tough and a good guy. I also sparred (2016 Olympic finalist) Joe Joyce and Frazer Clarke regularly and did well, held my own.

Recently I went to Brighton to work with (10-0 pro) Nick Webb and Scott Welch’s son. They all try to help me out and they all try to bash me up! Still, I’ll give it a go against anyone. These are experienced pros but I’ve never been troubled.

I’d love the opportunity to spar David Haye, a very good fighter. My dad has promised to take me over to the Mayweather Gym to spar later in the year.

You were born in Paddington but raised on the mean streets of south London. Did you have a difficult childhood?

I spend a lot of time at my mum’s flat in Chelsea but I was brought up in Greenwich where my dad is from. He’s a Millwall supporter, mum’s Chelsea!

My dad has fathered 11 children and I’m the eldest from his second wife. Those south London streets were quite rough but, though I could be a bit moody, I didn’t get into a lot of trouble. I still haven’t got a criminal record. I didn’t see much of the street because, from about the age of eight, dad kept me in the boxing ring.
I got a few GCSEs but, if I’m honest, I never really enjoyed school as I always saw it as a distraction from my boxing.

How did you first become involved in boxing?

Dad used to go to The Peacock Gym in Canning Town just to keep fit and I’d just toddle along to watch. It started from there. As a kid, I took part in a lot of sports. I weren’t that interested in football, still aren’t, but I sprinted for South London Harriers, where I also did the long jump and threw the javelin.

I just seemed to take to boxing quite quickly. Shortly after, we moved to the Repton gym, then to Dale Youth – where I won most of my junior titles under a fabulous coach called Gary McInnes. Later I passed through the Lynn and the Fisher clubs before finishing up at Islington. We changed gyms so often because the coaches didn’t seem to get along with my dad!

What did you accomplish in the amateurs?

All told, I think I had 75 amateur bouts and I lost about six. I won two English schoolboy titles, two junior ABAs plus the CYPs. Last December (2016), I won the British Seniors, live on BoxNation. I spent a year and a half as part of the GB Elite set-up in Sheffield and lived up there from Monday to Thursday. I probably boxed for England about a dozen times, competing at the European Youth championships twice and winning gold medals at multi-nations in Tammer (Finland) and Brandenburg (Germany).

Given your youth, why not hang around in the Team GB set-up and aim for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, the European and World Amateur Championships, the WSB or the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

There was no guarantee the (national) selectors were going to put me in any of those competitions. Though Joe Joyce is heavily rumoured to be turning pro, they were clearly grooming Frazer Clarke to take over. He’s currently number four in the world I believe and had been at Sheffield a lot longer than me. That’s why I opted to learn the game in the pros instead.

I’m sure you had plenty of suitors. Why did you select Martin Bowers to coach you in the pros?

I’ve been around Martin for a long time, at least ten years. I trust him and he’s a good motivator. That said, I’ve always believed that the fighter makes the trainer rather than the other way around. I train with Martin during the day at the Peacock Monday to Friday, then do a couple of hours on my own at another gym in the evenings. Most days, I’ll run around Greenwich Park a couple of times and my ‘old man’ takes care of all my strength and conditioning.

What qualities will you bring from the amateurs and what will you need to change and adapt to succeed in the pros?

I’m a forward fighter with a lovely jab. I’m quite aggressive and try to use a lot of head movement. I’ve not always been a heavyweight. At 12, I was 54kilos (8 ½ stone) and at 16, I was still just 75 (just under 12 stone). But once I developed into a heavyweight two years ago, I started blowing most opponents away; big right hands and body shots. Ask AJ and the others if I can punch!

Now I’m in the pros, I’m going to have to concentrate more and place my shots better. I’ll need to be even more aggressive. Look at (unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion) Deontay Wilder. He doesn’t hang about!

How to you relax away from boxing?

I don’t! When I’m home I just watch heavyweight boxing 24/7; Ali, Bowe, Holyfield….
I really like Lennox Lewis because he was so strong and skilful and (Mike) Tyson because he loved knocking people out. I try to pick good things up from all of them. You could say I’m a student of boxing.

Your team have made noises about your potential to become Britain’s youngest ever world heavyweight champion – Herbie Hide was 22 years, six months, 23 days -but what are your short term goals over the next 12-18 months?

I’d like to get at least six fights a year – as Frank (Warren) has promised me – and I’d like the right fights, a mixture of domestic opposition and imports so that I can move up in rounds and class. I want to bash ‘em all up, 100%. I love bashing people up!

I intend to win every title I can; Southern Area, English, British, Commonwealth, Inter-Continental, the sooner the better. I’ll give anything a go.

Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times on a show headlined by Terry Flanagan defending his WBO World Lightweight Title against tough Petr Petrov; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.

Tickets for April 8 priced £50, £70, £100, £150, £200, £300 and VIP £500 are available from eventim at www.eventim.co.uk and 0844 249 1000 and the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com and 0844 847 8000.

QUIGG’S FEATHERWEIGHT CAMPAIGN TO BE GUIDED BY ROACH IN STATES

Bury man moving to LA and targeting title at new weight 


Scott Quigg has teamed up with new trainer Freddie Roach and will train at the famous Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.

The former WBA Super-Bantamweight World champion and current WBA Featherweight International title holder made the decision after consultation with old trainer Joe Gallagher and both parties have agreed to part company on amicable terms.

The 28 year old stepped up to 126lbs in style in December, delivering a stunning ninth round KO of Jose Cayetano in Manchester to announce his intentions at his new weight, and Quigg heads to LA this week to begin work under future Hall of Fame trainer Roach as he targets a World title shot in the summer.

“After six years of working together I announce my departure from Joe Gallagher,” said Quigg. “We have been a great team and achieved a lot and had some great wins together.

“I have moved up to Featherweight with the goal of becoming a two-weight World champion and believe I need a fresh challenge to help me grow. Over the last few weeks I’ve been in America training and I’m delighted to announce I will be basing myself in Los Angeles at the Wild Card gym working under the guidance of Freddie Roach.

“This is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up and I believe this move and change will take me to another level. I’d like to thank Joe for everything he has done for me; he is a tremendous coach and friend, which we will remain. Our first fight together was for the British title and I went on to become world champion under his guidance and for that I will be forever grateful. I wish Joe and all the lads every success in the future.”

NOBLE AIMING TO TAKE SURPRISE CHANCE AGAINST COYLE ON SATURDAY

Londoner replaces injured Yates in Hull on Saturday

Rakeem Noble is gunning for the biggest scalp of his blossoming career as he takes on hometown favourite Tommy Coyle at the Hull Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Noble had a great year in 2016, landing the Southern Area Super-Lightweight title in March with a clinical fourth round KO win over Sohail Ahmed before defending the crown in October with a comfortable points win over previously unbeaten Kay Prospere.

The win over Prospere was Noble’s tenth from 11 fights, all of which have been at York Hall in Bethnal Green, east London since his debut in September 2013. The Londoner steps outside the capital for the first time against Hull star Coyle, who is back in the ring after giving British champion Tyrone Nurse a real scare in July when he floored the title holder in the seventh round.

Noble travels north for his biggest fight so far, and the 27 year old wants to claim a prize scalp live on Sky Sports to kick his career on to the next level.

“It will be a great fight,” said Noble, who replaces the injured Kofi Yates in the fight. “We are both at a career crossroads; I am looking to make the step up and he is looking to step back up to the position he has been at before. So we will see who progresses and who falls back; it will be an entertaining fight. If I beat Tommy Coyle that opens so many doors and it would put me into the top ten.

“He is a come forward fighter who will be on the attack and will be looking to take me out so I will have to beat him to it.

“I have won the Southern Area title and defended it so I have proved I am at that level and now I am looking for a step up. Tommy has proved himself as a very good British level fighter and he is who is next for me in my career.

“In both Southern Area title fights I went into it as the underdog and in both fights I came out as a convincing winner – the first was a fourth-round knockout and the second was a good points decision, so I went in there and proved people wrong.

“I have been the underdog so many times in my boxing career that it makes no difference to me now, it is just part of the game. That is why when I got the call to fight Tommy Coyle in his hometown, it didn’t bother me. It isn’t the first time I am taking an away fight and it probably won’t be the last time.”

Noble’s clash with Coyle is part of a huge night of action in Hull as Gavin McDonnell aims to join his twin Jamie as a World champion when he takes on Rey Vargas for the WBC World Super-Bantamweight title and hometown star Luke Campbell MBE defends his WBC Silver Lightweight title against Mexican Jairo Lopez.

Unbeaten Belfast talent Ryan Burnett tastes his first action of 2017, Doncaster Heavyweight Dave Allen kicks off 2017 having taken on Luis Ortiz in his last outing and Scunthorpe’s unbeaten Light-Heavyweight prospect Dec Spelman looks to add to his 10-0 record and local boys Carl Chadwick and Conor Seymour feature.

Limited tickets remain on sale for February 25 priced at £40, £60 and £100

MATCHROOM LAUNCHES NEW ‘NXT GEN’ SERIES AT YORK HALL ON MARCH 17

Unbeaten stars Bellotti, Chamberlain, Richards and Cash star in new Sky Sports shows

Reece Bellotti will face Dai Davies in an eliminator for the British Featherweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green in the first of Matchroom Boxing’s NXTGEN series on Friday March 17 – live on Sky Sports Facebook and Sky Sports 1.

Bellotti moved to 8-0 with the most impressive win of his promising career so far in November when he stopped Ian Bailey after eight rounds of his first ten round contest, a seventh win inside the distance for the Watford man living up to his ‘Bomber’ nickname.

The 26 year old tops the bill in east London looking to close in on a challenge for the Lord Lonsdale belt but must get the better of experienced Welshman Davies first. The 33 year old former Welsh Area champion promises to provided stiff examination of Bellotti’s talent having won both his fights in 2016 – the latter being his 40th fight of a 12 year career.

Some of Matchroom’s brightest young stars are in action on the night as Craig ‘Spider’ Richards tastes title action for the first time in his career as he challenges Southern Area Super-Middleweight champion Alan Higgins – a first defence for Higgins and a battle of two unbeaten Londoners.

Isaac Chamberlain returns to action at the scene of his fantastic Southern Area Cruiserweight title win over Wadi Camacho in September, where Chamberlain prevailed on points having dislocated his shoulder, and there’s also action on the bill for Ben Hall, Felix Cash, Jake Ball, Mickey O’Rourke and Danny Dignum.

“As our stable increases so does the demand for boxing content and the #NXTGEN shows will allow our young fighters to box deep and headline their own shows as they progress to major titles,” said promoter Eddie
Hearn.

“Our first date at York Hall will create an electric atmosphere as two-time ABA champion looks to go 9-0 as a pro and set up a shot at the British featherweight title. Our unbeaten rising Super-Middleweight star Craig Richards battles for his first title in an all-London clash with Southern Area champion Alan Higgins (12-0).

“Unbeaten prospects Isaac Chamberlain, Felix Cash and Danny Dignum also star while Ben Hall looks to bounce back from defeat against Carson Jones against Wembley’s Ryan Toms. It’s going to be a packed night of boxing and I’m excited for the new format.”

Tickets are on sale now priced £40 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) and are available here:

https://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets-matchroom-boxing-presents–a-night-of-championship-with-reece-bellotti-london-york-hall-17-3-2017/event/9821976/?gcid=chPrt-_-geoUK-_-genboxing-_-cpgyorkhall17-_-partmatchroom&mbox=1&rS=0&abbyo=false&sliderpos=false&qtyq=false&qtyddab=false&sort=price+asc

 

Heavyweight Izuagbe Ugonoh Ready To Power His Way Onto Scene Against Dominic Breazeale

Premier Boxing Champions On FOX & FOX Deportes On February 25 At Legacy Arena In Birmingham, Alabama

Polish Contender Makes U.S. Debut On The Undercard Of Deontay Wilder Defending His WBC Heavyweight Title Against Unbeaten Gerald Washington

Photo : Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions
LAS VEGAS (FEB. 15, 2017) – You may not have heard of Izuagbe Ugonoh…yet. But the Polish-born heavyweight contender plans to change that when he takes on Dominic Breazeale in a 10-round match on the undercard of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s title defense against Gerald Washington in primetime on FOX and FOX Deportes, at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama on Feb. 25.

“I’m looking forward to displaying my skills and letting the U.S. boxing fans get a look at what I’m bringing to the heavyweight division,” Ugonoh said. “I’m very excited to be making my U.S. debut in primetime on FOX and FOX Deportes. Dominic Breazeale is a tough opponent, but he is also the kind of boxer that will allow me to put on an entertaining show for the fans in the arena and those watching on FOX and FOX Deportes.”

Ugonoh, who prefers to be called Izu (pronounced E-Zoo), has a unique blend of athleticism, speed and power that he honed as a kickboxing champion in Poland before switching over to boxing in 2010. Starting with his match against the hard-hitting Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs), Ugonoh has an ambitious timetable as he works his way toward fighting for a boxing world title.

“This is my moment and 2017 is my year,” Ugonoh said. “I want to challenge myself and show the world how good I am. I believe the heavyweight division is wide open right now, and the top fighters are going to bring the best out of me. If I do what I’m supposed to do, I can see myself fighting for a world championship in the next 18 months.”

“I’ve been hearing great things about Izu internationally for years,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “He’s a big, strong athletic heavyweight with good power. But Dominic isn’t a pushover. Plus, he is coming off his first loss. He is in a make or break type fight. It’s the classic case of a guy with something to prove against a guy with a lot to lose.”

The 30-year-old Ugonoh was born in Szczecin, Poland, to Nigerian parents, and has a 17-0 record with 14 knockouts. Ugonoh has a master’s degree from Jedrzej Sniadecki School of Physical Education and Sports in Gdansk, Poland. He grew up playing soccer, before focusing on becoming an elite, all-around fighter by training in kickboxing, boxing and martial arts.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/ Premier Boxing Champions
“Izu is a big, physically imposing, strong heavyweight who, while virtually unknown here, has developed a reputation abroad,” said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment. “In his first fight on American soil, he will take on a legitimate heavyweight contender and world title challenger in Dominic Breazeale. We’re going to find out in Birmingham whether Izu is the real thing; if he’s able to shine, the mystery man is an immediate factor in the heavyweight division.”

Not afraid to step out of his realm, Ugonoh was a contestant on the past season of “Dancing With the Stars” in Poland, making it to the final two rounds.

“It was a lot of work,” he said. “I trained for 35 hours a week to dance for 1 minute 15 seconds on the show. Dancing was more work than boxing,” he laughed. “People laugh when I say that because they think I’m joking, but it was as much work as training camp. One of the key benefits is it improved my footwork in the ring.”

Ugonoh is trained by Kevin Barry, the corner man for WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker and former heavyweight title challenger David Tua. Ugonoh has been fighting out of New Zealand for the last two years, but now he will train in Las Vegas and is ready to make a name for himself in the U.S.

With Barry in his corner, Ugonoh is anxious to power his way into the heavyweight championship ranks.